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Long-Anticipated Crystal City Cafe Targets April Opening

A little over one year after signs went up for The Freshman (2011 Crystal Drive), the coffee shop, restaurant and gathering spot in Crystal City is finally preparing to open its doors.

A PR firm representing the cafe said it will have both dine-in and takeout options when it opens next month.

“We can confirm [a] mid-April timeline… we will offer takeout, delivery and dine-in,” a representative said. “The Freshman will be an all-day spot — coffee-to-cocktails — and feature dishes inspired by local, seasonal ingredients.”

The restaurant is the latest project from Nick Freshman, who also operates Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon.

The Freshman built anticipation in 2019 with a small but popular pop-up in Crystal City Shops, but the pandemic left grand opening plans up in the air. While the restaurant was on hold over the last year, relief program Hook Hall Helps used The Freshman’s empty space as a hub for distributing care kits and family meals to hospitality workers in need.

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